JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 30, 2017) – ETSU Women’s Basketball and fifth year head coach Brittney Ezell released the team’s 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday. The schedule features 30 total games, one tournament and 13 home games inside Brooks Gym.
“Obviously we set another incredibly difficult schedule for our program this year. A huge part of our program’s growth relies on our willingness to stretch and grow by playing the best competition possible. This year is no different with home matchups against Cincinnati, Michigan State, and Duquesne,” stated head coach Britney Ezell.
The Bucs open up the 2017 campaign at home against the University of Cincinnati on Nov. 10. The Bucs have only played the Bearcats three times, the last time being in 2015. Throughout all three meetings, the Bucs were unable to pull out a win, so they are eager to do that this year.
The next two non-conference games were opponents played last year. First is No. 19 ranked Tennessee. The Bucs fell to the Vols, but recorded a new all-time attendance record inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center last season. Appalachian State is the next opponent as the Bucs lost a heartbreaking 71-68 loss. Both games will be played on the road.
“Road challenges at Tennessee, NC State, and in the Gulf Coast Showcase will present us with challenges that will prepare us for SoCon play,” added Ezell.
Next up for the Bucs are Tennessee Tech and Duquesne, with both games being played at home. ETSU and Tennessee Tech have not met since 2011 after playing each other 23 times in the past. A new first-time opponent is Duquesne. The Bucs will host Tennessee Tech on Nov. 17 and Duquesne on Nov. 19.
For Thanksgiving, the Bucs will compete in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. They open up the tournament with Notre Dame and will either play Washington State or South Florida following the Notre Dame game.
A four-game traveling stint approaches the Bucs after Thanksgiving, beginning with Murray State. The Bucs played Murray State last season and won 79-60, the same with Winthrop with the Bucs winning 62-45.
A big trip for ETSU is against Houston on Dec. 10. Both teams have only met once, back in 1994, so it will be a good test for both teams to compete against each other after such a long period of time.
Director of Athletics Dr. Richard Sander states, “Coach Ezell has always built a non-conference schedule that challenges our student-athletes by playing some of the most well-respected programs in the country. Coach Ezell’s scheduling philosophy not only gives us an opportunity to play against the best players in the country, but it also allows us to spread the ETSU name and expose our brand. Having so many games against Power 5 schools and particularly their willingness to play on the road in Johnson City, is indicative of the respect they have for Coach Ezell and ETSU.”
Before returning back home, the Bucs face off against No. 39 NC State. They have only played them once, back in 2014.
A six-game home stand is in store for the Bucs at the end of December and beginning of January. To close out the year, the Bucs will play three more non-conference games, including No. 42 Michigan State, Northern Kentucky, and first-time opponent North Greenville.
Coach Ezell explains, “We want players that embrace the competitive demands that we present to them in our non-conference schedule. We stress to our players that by focusing on the process of growth from game to game that we will not only become a stronger team, but a continually strengthened program.”
To begin the new year, ETSU will open up conference play with Western Carolina. ETSU has won the last seven contests against Western Carolina. UNCG is their next opponent as the Bucs hold an 18-9 record over UNCG. Both teams split their games last season. Wrapping up their six-game home stand is Chattanooga. ETSU is eager for a win against Chattanooga as they have a long history with them dating back to 1971.
Two road games lay ahead with Furman and Wofford. The Bucs swept both games against Furman last year, but split with Wofford.
The Bucs will close out January with two weekend home games. On Jan. 25 they host Mercer and on Jan. 27 they host Samford for their annual pink game.
A three-game road stretch appears next with SoCon opponents UNCG, Western Carolina, and Chattanooga that the Bucs will host in the beginning of the season.
Education Day is planned for Feb. 15 against Wofford and Senior Day is set for Feb. 17 against Furman.
To close out the regular season games, the Bucs travel to Samford and Mercer, who they will host earlier in the season.
The SoCon Tournament is set for March 1-4 in Ashville, N.C. For more information about season tickets, please visit here.
“Our fans have jumped on board with our daunting schedules and I have no doubt that they will again show up in droves for our team this fall. Be in Brooks and enjoy the journey with us! We are excited to share it with Buccaneer nation,” concluded Ezell.